Saturday, November 6, 2010

Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders

Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders Review

I've been a Raiders fan since 1964, the good majority of my life, and bought this book primarily because of that. I was surprised by how good a book it was in its own right. About a quarter of the way through I realized this would make an enjoyable read for any true football aficionado. I say that because whether the author intended it or not this book really explains what made John Madden's Raiders unique in football history and why there will probably never be another team like it. Here was a collection of people that really loved to play football; loved to tackle and be tackeled. Have you ever had a job that you loved to come to every day? If so, then you realize that's the most incredible experience to have. To get paid for doing something you'd enjoy doing anyway. Madden's Raiders were that. But only Madden could bring those people together without dampening their enthusiasm and this, more than anything else, explains what made that team so unusual and unique. John Rauch couldn't do it (Madden's predecessor) nor could Tom Flores (his successor). I always knew they were special but never understood exactly why until reading this book. It wasn't the winning (for that you could/should back the Steelers, Cowboys, or Dolphins). It had to be something else and it was -- these guys just loved to hit and loved to do things their way. At times I think the book goes overboard on documenting the team's partying because, I guess, that's what sells books. But I think what makes the book special is the other aspects to the team's history. The John Madden era Raiders were truly a family; even Al Davis laments the inability to ever again create that kind of atmosphere for his team (Al's own discription of the Raiders in L.A. vs. 1968-1978 Oakland is very telling in that respect). The discriptions of the selflessness of the players is really something that stands out and I can't see happening in today's me-first incentive-laden contract environment. If you love the Raiders, this one's a no-brainer but even if you only remember the team as different than the rest of the NFL and are curious as to why then I recommend this book as something you will enjoy reading.

Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders Feature

  • ISBN13: 9780061834301
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! BUY WITH CONFIDENCE, Over one million books sold! 98% Positive feedback. Compare our books, prices and service to the competition. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed

Badasses: The Legend of Snake, Foo, Dr. Death, and John Madden's Oakland Raiders Overview

They were the NFL's ultimate outlaws, black-clad iconoclasts who, with a peculiar mix of machismo and brotherhood, of postgrad degrees and firearms, merrily defied pro football corporatism.

The Oakland Raiders of the 1970s were some of the most outrageous, beloved, and violent football teams ever to play the game. In this rollicking biography, Peter Richmond tells the story of Oakland's wrecking crew of castoffs, psychos, oddballs, and geniuses who won six division titles and a Super Bowl championship under the brilliant leadership of coach John Madden and eccentric owner Al Davis.

Richmond goes inside the locker room and onto the field with Ken Stabler, Willie Brown, Fred Biletnikoff, George Atkinson, Phil Villapiano, and the rest of this band of brothers who made the Raiders legendary. He vividly recounts days of grueling practices and hell-raising nights of tavern crawling—from smoking pot and hiring strippers during training camp to sharing game-day beers with their hardcore fans (including the Bay Area's other badasses, the Black Panthers and the Hells Angels). Richmond reveals a group of men who, after years of coming up short in the AFC Championship game, saw their off-kilter loyalty to the black and silver finally pay off with their emphatic Super Bowl victory in 1977. Funny, raunchy, and inspiring, Badasses celebrates the '70s Raiders as the last team to play professional football the way it was meant to be played: down and very dirty.

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